Glossary entry

Air Quality

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Air Quality

Air Quality means the condition of air in and around a given location, in particular the extent to which it is clean, clear and free from pollutants including smog, smoke, industrial gases and dust.

Drafting notes

A general definition of air quality is included above. This is unlikely to change between jurisdictions.

Globally, air quality is measured and forecast empirically using air quality indices which vary by country. These indices match observed pollutant concentration data against epidemiological outcomes.

For example, in Australia, each state and territory compiles a daily Ambient Air Quality index using the standards published by the National Environmental Protection Council. The Ambient Air Quality index is compiled by aggregating the concentrations for each of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulphur dioxide, lead and particulate matter (small particles of certain sizes, including dust). Index values correspond to health advice.

In the EU air quality is regulated under the Air Quality Directive 2008 (2008/50/EC). The Directive sets standards for ambient air quality covering 8 pollutants including sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulates and ozone. it requires member states to actively assess and manage the ambient air quality in different areas or zones within their territory. EU member states then report air quality data to the EU Commission.


Supply chain clauses, construction contracts, contract manufacturing clauses – when creating obligations to [minimise/cap/prevent] emissions that may have deleterious impact on [an air quality index AQI], including carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulphur dioxide, lead and breathable particle matter. Operational health and safety (OH&S) clauses – outdoor worksites cannot operate if the [Ambient Air Quality index] exceeds [100].